The Primitive Sonny Rollins

May 3, 2011 by Josh Jackson  
Filed under Interviews

The Primitive Sonny Rollins

Photo: John Abbott

He may be 80 years old, but the man known as the Saxophone Colossus still towers over today’s jazz world as one of its most prolific living legends.

For this edition of The Checkout, WBGO’s Josh Jackson sat down with Rollins, and their expansive conversation winds through his many years of musical experience, paying dues and developing what he calls his “primitive” musical personality.

The two discuss Rollins’s musical philosophy, his experience on 9/11, when he lived six blocks away from the Twin Towers, his pioneering work with his saxophone trio in the 1950s, his longtime Yankees fandom, and much more.

This weekend, Rollins begins his touring season with a show at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Sunday. He plays at NJPAC next Friday, May 13.


3 Responses to “The Primitive Sonny Rollins”
  1. Ray Hunter says:

    Many thanks for this interview. I think that Sonny tells stories through his instrument and on occasions I have had one hell of a feeling at some concerts when he puts the full stop on the end of a piece,that is the shared lift that he gives out and he takes you to an amazing place. thank you Sonny for telling us how you feel and why you play for us.take care.

  2. Roger Lewis says:

    This is a fantastic interview. Good to hear Sonny is still vital.


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